SaveVCA Mission Statement

To ensure decades of VCA graduate success founded on specialised, intensive and practical-based training continues.

To ensure the diversity and specificity of VCA course offerings remain, with curriculum informed by what the arts industry demands of its future elite artists.

To work with the University of Melbourne, the Victorian and Federal Governments, the VCA’s staff and the arts industry to plan for the VCA’s future, cementing the institution as a centre of excellence, by creating financial stability while maintaining the primary focus on practical pedagogy.

In order to achieve this we are fighting for the following:

IMMEDIATE ACTION

  1. Immediate suspension of the application of the Melbourne Model / New Generation degrees to the VCA.
  2. Immediate reinstatement of the only degree in Music Theatre available in Melbourne, the Music Theatre capital of Australia, along with the immediate reinstatement of Puppetry.
  3. Immediate commencement of open, transparent, genuine and regular communication between the VCA Dean and UoM Management with VCA staff, students and industry regarding any curriculum, funding or staffing changes.
  4. Immediate suspension of any plans to reduce staff levels further (including any plans to reduce sessional staff), change student-to-teacher ratios or reduce teaching hours without proper consultation and consideration of the impact on VCA Staff being able to deliver the current programs to expected levels of expertise.
  5. Immediate reversal of all contraventions of the Heads of Agreement including:
    1. The premature alignment of the VCA’s funding to other faculties not scheduled for review until the fifth year after integration (2011). This includes the cancellation of rentals the UoM has charged VCA to date.
    2. The UoM disregard of the pedagogy of the VCA, including the Managerial public assertions that VCA no longer exists and the assertion that specialist, practical-based training is no longer a valid education model.
    3. Reinstatement of the VCA logo and branding, which was removed in April 2009.
    4. Reinstatement of the VCA graduation ceremony, which was removed in 2009.

SHORT TERM ACTION (WITHIN 3 MONTHS)

  1. Establish a working party comprising five staff representatives from each School (including the Head of Department) and 2 student representatives from each School, to reestablish professional, fruitful and constructive dialogue with the VCA Dean and the UoM Vice Chancellor.
  2. Hold a public meeting open to all staff, students, alumni and industry within one month of the working party meeting, to give an update to all stakeholders.
  3. Have the working party select a panel of industry experts to act as consultants in order to start planning for a full review of VCA funding and curriculum. These experts would include:
    1. Arts industry such as talent and casting agents, producers, tv/film/theatre/visual arts/dance and music companies, galleries
    2. University finance consultants
    3. Third-party finance consultants
    4. Government including the Victorian and Federal arts and skills/education MPs
    5. The National Tertiary Education Union and the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance
  4. Establish interim financial measures with the UoM to allow for the year review.

LONG TERM ACTION

Conduct a full review of VCA funding and curriculum, in consultation with the arts industry, with the aim of new initiatives to be active from 2012.

Work with Government to ensure adequate and sustained funding to provide the specialised, practical and elite training necessary to provide a valuable contribution to Australia’s arts industry. This should be considered against the funding models of other elite arts training institutions, such as The National Institute of Dramatic Art and The Australian Film Television and Radio School.

The above should be done within a framework of strict legislation that is actively monitored by Government, University of Melbourne, Arts Industry Representatives and a responsible third party to be elected by the State Government, rather than the current Melbourne University (Victoria College of the Arts) Act 2006, which has provided no security or accountability.

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